Breaking News: Maryland's U.S. Attorney calls off federal investigation into City Council ethics lapses. Sounds like the right call here. Former U.S. Attorney Thomas DiBiagio and his fishing trips had been completely discredited as purely political attempts to hurt state Dems, while his bosses wanted him to go after terrorists or something like that. Perhaps DiBiagio was on to something bigger, but all that ever became public was council members' relatives on the payroll, free sports/concert tickets and parking, and other such small potatoes. Stay tuned.

Game On: For second day in a row, Gov. Bob Ehrlich and his compatriots goes on offensive, re: Democrats' criticisms of/investigations into his administration's hiring/firing practices. Now, I'm of two minds on this. For sure, a lot of this is just pure politics, sniping back and forth, tussling for potential votes, etc. However, many of Ehrlich's hirings/firings are awfully fishy, like firing longtime career bureaucrats (not political appointees), with their mortgages and family, with little, if any, cause. Also, the Post's Lena H. Sun and Matthew Mosk have a very good story on what look like highly political firings, and a mass exodus, at a little-known state agency. And a weekly round-up on all this from the Gazette papers.

In other General Assembly news, Senate passes bill that would slow introduction of Asian oysters into the bay (now goes to the House). AP story. Groups face off over anti-immigration and pro-official English language bills. House passes teen driving limits bills (now goes to committee for refinement and final passage). Finally, black lawmakers tell The Washington Times, that Senate President Mike Miller's resistance to naming BWI after Thurgood Marshall could hurt Dems at polls.

Going National: Failed January Harwood firebombing of community activist's house leads police to gang activity in city, namely the Bloods.

Hostile Takeover: From The Afro American, Morgan State University not happy about new TU-UB MBA program.

Gun Control: Thanks to Baltimore County Police officer's Essex gun shop supplying both last month's Towson Town Center murder and Joseph Palczynski's 2000 crime spree, department bars its officers from selling firearms anymore; union likely to challenge the new rule.

Newtown: City picks developers for Oldtown revitalization, with a $13 million shopping center/supermarket.

Charles in Charge: The Messenger takes a look at city's plan to turn Charles Theatre block into "gateway" to North Baltimore.

Foreign Exchange: From the Diamondback, UM President Dan Mote testifies before Congress, calling for improved access for international grad students.

Senate Race Update: Sun columnist Michael Olesker laments how much time pols, specifically potential Senate candidate U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, have to spend raising money. He makes a good point, but still, boo-fucking-hoo. And in Jewish Times, James D. Besser catches up with another potential candidate for Paul Sarbane's soon-to-be-vacated seat, U.S. Rep. Ben Cardin. "An analysis" on Sarbanes' time in the Senate from The Messenger's Lou Panos. Finally, two must-reads from the Gazette papers, lining up political races caused by those running for Senate.

SNAP to It: Also from Jewish Times, City Planning Commission approves multimillion-dollar Upper Park Heights revitalization plan.

Gays 2, Neanderthals 0: GayLife celebrates as two anti-gay bills go down in Annapolis. Also from GL Chase Brexton Health Services and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health join forces to fight club drugs.

Dazed and Confused: From the Salisbury Daily Times, many on Eastern Shore are confused about exactly what Navy has planned for
Bloodsworth Island.